In a chaotic year defined by an unprecedented public health crisis and the grueling march toward a monumental presidential election, 2020 has underscored the need for reliable access to trusted news. This past week was National Newspaper Week, a celebration of the vital publications large and small that perform the crucial public good of keeping people informed through pandemics and school board meetings and everything in between.
Today, however, is set aside specifically for those who literally bring the news to you. On International Newspaper Carrier Day, we show our deep appreciation to the ones who rise before the sun and consistently brave whatever elements to keep their neighbors up to date on a fast-changing world. Newsrooms are full of people who work diligently to gather, contextualize, edit and present the information you need from your community and beyond. But the tip of the spear, where all of our work culminates, is when people pick up their Brattleboro Reformer from their mailbox or front step — and that’s made a reality day in and day out by the diligence of our news carriers.
Newspapers are essential sensemaking organs, but they’re also community institutions — conduits for local democracy, town squares for local voices and the way people stay apprised of their neighborhood, their municipality and the greater world all in one place. And now, it’s the way that critical public health information regularly makes its way to a citizenry left reeling by the coronavirus crisis.
Between that portal and you, the key connection is your newspaper carrier. To many Reformer readers, they are the familiar face of our efforts to inform and enrich our community, doing the literal legwork to bring our hard work directly to you. If you’re reading this on the printed page, it’s because one of your neighbors got up before everyone else and brought the greater world to your doorstep. Please join us in emphatically thanking our delivery workers and newspaper carriers everywhere.